The Coin

The Coin won a Finalist Award in the Mystery/Suspense Category from the Indie Excellence National Awards.

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El Tigre

El Tigre won a Finalist Award in Western Fiction in both Indie Excellence and USA Best Books Awards.

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El Tigre II

El Tigre II has won a Finalist Award in the Western Category in the Indie Excellence National Awards Competition.

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Lobo

Lobo was the winning novel in the Military Fiction Category in the Indie Excellence National Awards Competition.

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Savage Moon

Savage Moon, first published by Orion in Great Britain in 2007 is an unusual mystery in e-book form by Chris Simms.

DI Jon Spicer, a member of the Manchester, England Police Department, has been shifted from his position with the most active investigative division because of borderline insubordination to his dictatorial superior DCI McCloughlin. His new boss, Summerby is easier, but in anticipated impending retirement is in charge of a division handling less interesting cases. Jon is ambivalent about the change because he misses the more involved cases, but it provides him more time to help his wife with their newborn daughter. He is working on cases involving homosexual crimes when an unusual case occurs where a man is attacked and a follow-up killing appears to have been performed by an animal similarly to a slaying reported earlier at a sheep farm bordering the moors. In spite of his lesser experience, he asks and is granted the lead position in the investigation by Summerby. This cause of death in Great Britain appears highly unlikely but possible after reports of several sightings of black panthers. A number of guarded responses to questions by several ‘persons of interest’ and additional killer activity make him believe it is not and the case evolves into a mind-boggling mystery requiring almost around the clock activity with his assembled team. Concurrently his young wife gradually descends into post-partum depression and complications pile up until dogged police work ferrets out the cause and a finale is reached.

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Tuna Life

Tuna Life, a psychological thriller by Erik Hamre that is a well presented look at the ‘new Economy’, its ways and its people, but even more interestingly if mystery is ‘your thing’, it probably is the most interestingly complex mystery I’ve read.

Andrew Engels is an earnest employee of a mid-sized accounting firm on the Gold Coast of Australia with the carrot of a partnership constantly dangling. After seven years he becomes disillusioned and would like to ‘start over’ but did not know how in this time of economic difficulty. He attends a tax seminar and afterwards serendipitously discovers a “bus-press day” where a kid in a hoodie and tooth braces explains a conference is taking place where “if you’ve got an idea, or need money to grow your business, you can present it. If the suit likes it they may invest.” It was “The New Economy”. Andrew is unimpressed but enters, is overwhelmed and returns to quit his job. He calls Richard Smith at Y-Bator and asks how to get started. Richard is stunned but because of the complete naivety explains he needs a team and if he has a good idea, Y-Bator will consider it. Andrew explains to his close friend from childhood, Ken Speis, a wealthy perennial graduate student who is particularly adept at design. Intrigued he joins him and they look for a programmer. Unsuccessful, they attend a Y-Bator conference where, dressed ‘properly’, they are old guys among pimply faced hoodie wearing youngsters. An older man, Frank Geitner, approaches asking if they are investors saying he is a programmer looking to start a company. They form a company called Tuna Life, gain financing from Richard, whose major partner is Roman Bezhrev, a Russian Mafia type who owns several night and strip clubs.

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The Turkish Connection

The Turkish Connection, a Birth of an Assassin Novel, ISBN: 9781783017164, is an e-book historical thriller by Rik Stone set largely in and around Istanbul and other areas of Turkey bordering the Bosporus Straight that allows passage between Europe and Russia – the Aegean, the Maramara, through the Strait and into the Black Sea.

Plot: Levent Pasha, a gambler and unfaithful womanizer who constantly allowed liquor to influence his actions after hours of mourning his deceased wife Emel decides to amend his ways and take good care of Mehmet, his 8-year-old son. To accomplish this, he decides to rob wealthy Beyrek Ozel, to obtain the money. He enlists his friend Yuri Aleksii to pick him up on his boat after the robbery, get Mehmet and take them to safety. Ozel returns unexpectedly, Levent is caught and Yuri is stopped at gun point from keeping two of Ozel’s thugs from drowning him. Yuri accepts Levent’s silent plea to look after his son, but the boy is secreted away by other of Beyrek’s henchmen and forced to learn thievery with a gang of other young street children. From here we follow the convoluted story of Mehmet’s gradual development into a competent thief and finally upon reunion with Yuri, a budding assassin.

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Different Leagues

Different Leagues, an e-book by Matthew Groce presenting a most knowledgeable story of pre-Jackie Robinson baseball in a most poignant manner.

In this reader’s opinion it would be a gross disservice to any potential reader to divulge details of this story other than to say it depicts quite realistically many of the differences between the ‘Big’ and ‘Negro’ baseball leagues of the ‘20’s and ‘30’s. And the author provides a vibrant portrayal by following the lives of two young baseball enamored boys, White Charles and Negro Otis, as they move from very early friendship in a small Virginia town with its typical unrestrained bigotry as they grow apart and move to prominent positions in ‘different leagues’ as young men. As a member of a generation that remembers the era well, I highly recommend this book to all baseball enthusiasts and to others who can gain an introduction to the depth of bigotry extant in those years.

5* For all baseball lovers and others requiring introduction to extent of bigotry of the time.

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Beyond a darkened Sky

Beyond a Darkened Sky ISBN: 9780615938448, an e-book by Dana Alexander.

Plot: Sara Forrester is a successful psychiatrist from a tremendously wealthy family who without her knowledge has been selected by the ‘Alliance’, acting for the shadowy, powerful ancient spiritual order ‘Soltari’, to head-up a team to fight ‘the Dark Lord Tarsamon’ and his evil legions whose driving purpose is to destroy the human race by sapping all of its energy. To accomplish the mission, she must gather symbols to find the keys to enlightenment and these have been hidden by the ancients to keep them safe. She is introduced to the parallel world of Arden where she meets Eldor, Cerys and others but eventually her specific ‘team’ of Juno, Alise, Aria and Matt with a personal guardian Kevin. The time line of these introductions is somewhat blurred because she is in an induced coma after surviving a devastating auto accident. Dr. Kevin Scott is the physician who was on call when she was brought to the hospital. It develops that Kevin and Sara have been together fighting other enemies on assignments from the Alliance for eons of time. All remembrance had been removed from Sara and a direct order prohibits Kevin from enlightening her. As time passes, this becomes a burgeoning problem, because Sara is greatly attracted to Kevin’s love but because of horrible childhood happenings (arranged to strengthen her by the Soltari and occurring before she was adopted by her present parents) will not allow her to open emotionally on the possibility of again being hurt. The story continues shifting between the two parallel worlds and the opponents with abundant intrigue and action that carries the reader to the next level of search for the symbols and keys.

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